X-Factor Forever #2: Diversion

The X-Factor team, with their respective dates, are celebrating Timmy’s birthday at the Good Taste Cafe in Chinatown. They have such a good time it is almost surreal to Jean, and she remarks to Scott “[she] feel[s]...happy. Almost...normal it scares [her]”. As her son blows out the candles on his cake, Charlotte jokes that Timmy must have wished for a “super villain” to “crash the party”.

No sooner said than done, Apocalypse unleashes “Master Meld” (the Sentinel combination of Cameron Hodge and Master Mold) in Chinatown. While X-Factor is busy dealing with Master Meld, Apocalypse seizes the opportunity to break into Ship to learn about Ship’s communication with the Celestials. Apocalypse suspects that it has to do with two parent mutants unable to produce offspring, leading to humanity’s eventual extinction. Despite the birth of Cyclops’ son, the mutant legitimacy of the mother is questionable. (Madelyn was Jean’s clone but human.) What Apocalypse learns leads him to fear the worst for Earth’s inhabitants.

While Cyclops, Marvel Girl and Iceman distract the Sentinel, Archangel flies Charlotte and Timmy to safety, and Beast leads Opal, Trish, Priya and Christopher to safety. Archangel and Beast then rejoin their team mates. They find out that their enemy, Cameron Hodge, has been resurrected and placed in control of Master Meld.

X-Factor uses past experience in dealing with Sentinels and beheads Master Meld. In a move that should have disabled the Sentinel, surrendered total control of the Sentinel to Cameron Hodge, nestled in the chest cavity of Master Meld. Beast drives a lamp post into the heart of Master Meld while Iceman freezes the latter.

But as Master Meld is put down, X-Factor faces a bigger threat in the form of the Celestial, Gammenon the Gatherer.

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